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668 – Skill Testing
The group of despairs press the assault. I recover my HP by spending MP with [Autoregeneration]. In addition to my current level being low, my HP had been exhausted during the battle with Miia. If I were to receive a self-destruct skill like [Scattering of Hopelessness], my HP could hit zero in an instant if I’m unlucky. To be safe, it’s better if I dedicate some MP to recovering HP.

Aro spreads her black wings and takes to the air, and treant takes off to follow as well.

…Anyway, if I can defeat even one of them, my stats should increase by a huge margin. I want to test my skills while quickly and carefully defeating them.

The apocalypse’s new skills are [Curse Knight], [Limbo], [Dite], [Cocytus], and [Doomsday Tone]. To start with… let’s try out [Curse Knight].

【Normal Skill [Curse Knight]】
【Solidifies mana into the form of a knight bearing a powerful curse.】
【When the knight is struck by an impact or successfully attacks an enemy, it explodes, scattering a curse through the surroundings.】
【In addition to applying the Starvation and Frenzied status condition, if the target’s magical strength is low, the curse can cause death or allow the target’s body to be puppetted.】

I extend my forelimb and gather mana at the tip. My fingertip lights up with a bluish-white light. The radiating light models into a humanoid outline, with the upper half of an armour-wearing human and the lower half in the shape of a horse. I catch a brief glimpse of what seems to be a lance in its hands before it charges off straight into the crowd of despairs.

The despairs scatter to avoid the attack, but the [Curse Knight] diverts its trajectory to chase after an escaping despair, and takes a large swing with its lance. Once the lance touches it, the [Curse Knight] detonates in a dazzling display of blue-white light.

“Furohh!”

Swallowed up by the explosion, the despair’s body is destroyed.

【9288 experience points have been acquired.】
【Due to the title skill [Walking Egg: Lv-], an additional 9288 experience points have been acquired.】
【The level of [Apocalypse] has risen from 1 to 69.】

Nice! I got a bunch experience points right away. I’ve already broken through the low levels.

Checking my stats, I see that I’ve got [Defence: 3731]. The difference in growth is disgusting. Other than in magic power, I’ve already surpassed the stats I had as a maximum level oneiros. I shouldn’t have much to worry about receiving direct attacks from the despairs with this, so long as it isn’t [Scattering of Hopelessness].

However, [Curse Knight]… For a skill apparently specialised in afflicting statuses conditions, it has a considerable amount of firepower. Moreover, it seems to have some level of autonomy. I had thought it would be all-around inferior to the convenience of [Dimension Claw]-senpai, but I can easily imagine situations where a self-guided bomb would come in handy. If I use it together with [Dimension Claw], my options for attacking at medium range should increase by a lot.

There’s nothing to fear from their self-destruct attacks as long as we can keep them from getting close. Aro and treant are attacking the despairs with the long range [Sphere]-type skills. I’m also weaving attack magic in between their attacks, so the risk of the despairs suddenly suddenly breaking through seems low.

I was worried by their self-destruct skill, but it seems that we can hunt the despairs reliably. I’ll field test the other skills too now.

【Normal Skill [Dite]】
【A magic skill that summons the flames of hell and shoots them in a spherical shape.】
【The flames will continue to burn until the target is reduced to ashes.】

Let’s go, [Dite]! A reddish-black mass of fire appears above me, and compresses into the shape of a ball.

Th-the mana drain is worse than I was expecting. The flames of Dite are bigger than I expected, too. It’s probably around five metres wide.

『Ah, master-dono… isn’t that magic a little excessive…?』

Treant utters anxiously from behind me.

“GuoOOOOOh!”

I fling my neck down to vigorously hurl the flames of [Dite] forwards. The sphere smacks into the ground, and the surroundings flick ablaze powerfully. The red-black fire spreads, covering a wide area in an instant.

“Migigigigigigi!”

With my unfamiliarity with the skill, the despairs had scattered to escape after seeing my excessively telegraphed movement, but unfortunately for them the skill’s radius too wide. I see two of them get charred black after being swallowed by the flames.

【16308 experience points have been acquired.】
【Due to the title skill [Walking Egg: Lv-], an additional 16308 experience points have been acquired.】
【The level of [Apocalypse] has risen from 69 to 86.】

I-t doesn’t seem to have any shortcomings in firepower or area of effect. However, I don’t know how to stop the red-black flames of [Dite]. Now that they’ve hit the ground, they’re continuing to spread with no sign of stopping.


“D-dragon-god-sama! This is bad, isn’t it…?”

Aro shouts worriedly… Truly, it doesn’t look like it’s going to subside at all. The entire Ngai forest might be eventually consumed by fire at this rate.

It said it would continue to burn until the target was reduced to ashes, but it shows no sign of disappearing even though several of the despairs have died. I have no idea how far the flames will spread at this rate.

L-let’s extinguish it for the time being. And for that, let’s try using my other skill.

【Normal Skill [Cocytus]】
【A magic skill that summons the ice of hell, and manipulates it freely.】
【The ice can freeze anything, and will never melt.】
【It rapidly drains the heat from the surroundings, so unexpected damage may occur.】
【Once the ice has been deployed, it is practically impossible to erase, so caution is needed.】

The apocalypse’s ice magic skill, [Cocytus]. A blue-white magic circle unfolds around me. I focus on the reddish-black flames, and they’re gradually enveloped by bluish-white ice.

G-great, this should stop the fight fire from spreading further.

I now know that the flames of [Dite] can be frozen by [Cocytus]. The ice of hell might be more powerful than the flames of hell, or it might simply be that the [Dite] had already subsided somewhat. I get the impression that the ice of [Cocytus] can probably be melted by the flames of [Dite], too.

“Dragon-god-sama, one of them is flying from behind!”

F-flying!? I swivel around, hearing Aro shout. I realise one of the despairs has closed in right next to me by flying through the air.

“Furoh, furohh!”

The despair has entwined its roots into the shape of wings and is flying through the air. It can actually fly!? No wonder it had the bloody [Flight] skill!

I let myself be distracted by [Dite] too much. I immediately move to smash it with my claws, but then notice the despair’s body beginning to swell up.

With the swelling of its body, its cute round eyes are squished upwards and out of sight, and its mouth stretches wide. No, I had thought that was its mouth, but it’s changed into a single large eye.

I-its real form has come out! That docile look it had was just camouflage. There’s no way cute-looking monsters could exist in this Ngai forest.

I understand intuitively. This monster has already entered self-destruct mode. I’m not sure what to do at this point, but there’s no stopping [Scattering of Hopelessness] any longer.

Should I endure it by vanishing with [Dragon Mirror]? No, I don’t know how wide-ranged [Scattering of Hopelessness] is. If I suddenly disappeared, Aro and treant might get caught up in the explosion without me as cover.

So, I have no choice but to use this!

【Normal Skill [Limbo]】
【According to the writings of the Holy God religion, the Holy God and equivalent beings possess magic that can save those who cannot be allowed to live or to die.】
【A single Saint in all history once was able to attain [Limbo].】
【A magic skill that sends the target to a dimension where the concepts of time and space do not apply.】
【It is short range and slow to activate. But, if it connects, enemies will be forever sealed in a separate dimension.】

I focus my attention on the despair in front of me. A magic circle glowing a divine white unfolds around it. It tries to escape from the circle, but I grab it with my foreleg and hold it in position.

『[Limbo]!』

Light bursts out and the despair vanishes. My hand is now clutching empty air.

Success… Th-though it doesn’t seem like I’m getting any experience points.

【A magic skill that sends the target to a dimension where the concepts of time and space do not apply.】

I used it on the spur of the moment, but thinking back to [Limbo’s] explanation, it somehow gives me a bad aftertaste… I managed to defend against [Scattering of Hopelessness] thanks to [Limbo], but it’s probably better to avoid using it as much as I can.

I have just one skill that I haven’t tried yet but…

【Normal Skill [Doomsday Tone]】
【Dissolves the user’s vitality and mana to boost attack power and speed.】
【However, the user’s reason is also dissolved, causing them to fall into a frenzied state.】
【The frenzy will not abate until everything in sight is reduced to nothing.】
【Even after ending, it is highly likely that some mental changes will persist.】
【When activated, the force of the mana leaving the user’s body causes a strange sound to be heard, appearing to be coming from far away.】
【According to the Holy God religion, when the divine messengers use instruments to signal the end of the world, the sound they produce is the same as this skill.】

…It’s probably better to avoid testing this skill. Besides forcibly being put into the [Berserk] condition, there might be some persisting effects on my mental state after using it.




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